Blog # 8
I believe our country is under an epidemic of opioid addicted mothers giving birth to opioid addicted babies. A controversy that continues is some want prosecution and removal of the child from drug positive mothers. I myself had a fixed mindset before starting this “I Believe “assignment. Angered that these drug addicts could not sacrifice their addiction for their unborn child, I was convinced that they deserved jail time, deserved for their children to be taken away, and frankly should be sterilized. As I continued my brainstorm, I found myself in union with the opposing side of this controversy as well. Some believe if you place these harsh punishments on drug addicted mothers, there will be no pre-natal care given to babies who will need it more so, and more babies born and disposed of in a trash bag. So obviously it is hard to make such a confirmation of “I believe” when you question your own statement.
This led me back to my old neighborhood. Crack used to be the drug most of my friends growing up were addicted to. Lethal doses passed to them from their own mother’s womb. Now Heroin and pain killers plague the one way in, one way out, four street neighborhood I called home for so long. I then read more on addiction and the mindset of these women who cannot help themselves. Even with normal 30-60 day detox, these women are dumped back into the same hole they painfully willed their way out of. What if there was a way to help both the women and the babies they give birth to? This question started the flow of passion answered by a growth mindset I have. Even with the internal struggle with agreeing with both sides, I moved forward to offer a solution that I did state with conviction.
I believe there should be a center, funded by government, for women who test positive on any pre-natal drug screen. Drug addicts do not want their life to be ruled by their addiction. They do not want to give birth 6-10 weeks prematurely, to babies with transparent skin who can barely breathe without tubes shoved in every open hole their little 1-2 lb. bodies have. I have seen these babies sustain life by an incubator in NICU. Also, I have witnessed their mother’s crying uncontrollably for what they have done, begging for forgiveness from anyone who will sympathize. These same women who left NICU a blubbering mess, are out on the block later trying to convince the ghetto supermen what they can do for that one hit. This center would house these drug addicted mother’s until they were able to give birth to a healthy baby. This would then give the mothers 6-10 months of clean, sober living. Listening to addicts complaints only being detoxed not rehabbed causes relapse. Women would then be given the option to either keep the child or to adopt the child out to a family. We will work not only on the detox, but also the rehab mentally and physically as whole person. Given the chance of full recovery with a strong support over a substantial timeline I truly believe these women could become wonderful, selfless mothers. If they chose to continue to live the life that set them in the center in the first place, and not taking the option of adoption as offered, then Social Services will have to step in and follow their protocol.
I believe drug addicted, pregnant women who receive this type of help could not only give birth to healthy babies, but also learn to live for themselves in a healthy manner.